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7 Tasty Meat-Free Summer BBQ Recipes

Meat free summer bbq recipe ideas

As the weather gets warmer you might want to invite your friends and family over for a day in the sun. Nothing beats a summer BBQ - the smell of grilled goods, the fizzy fruit drinks, summer sounds and the silly sports-day style games. But how can you make your sunny celebrations slightly greener and cleaner? An all-veggie menu is not only easy, cheap and healthy, it also has a lower environmental impact than typical meat BBQs as less resources (be that water, energy, feed etc.) are required to produce the food on your plate. Here are some of our favourite veggie recipes perfect for a summer get together…

Grills

Pretty much all vegetables taste great grilled, so chop away and stuff them on skewers for a colourful main the whole family will love. Jamie Oliver’s Greek veggie kebabs with courgette, pepper and tomatoes, look amazing and have been grilled simply with some olive oil, lemon, black pepper and fresh mint.

Burgers

Halloumi is another tasty vegetarian-friendly ingredient, perfect for a BBQ burger. Try this delicious recipe by BBC Good Food for halloumi and aubergine burgers with harissa relish. Simply spread humus onto the base of your bun before adding fried aubergine and halloumi, topping it with relish made by mixing sliced onions with brown sugar, pepper and harissa.

Salad

Forget about the standard lettuce salad and toss together a mix of barbecued asparagus, rocket, goat's cheese and pine nuts. Ready in minutes, this light summer salad is an ideal alternative to the usual bag of leaves and these fresh flavours are the perfect accompaniment to grilled vegetables, lightly charred burgers and warm, crusty bread. Drizzle on some olive oil dressing, crumble goat's cheese on top and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts - delicious!

asparagus salad

Slaw

It wouldn’t be a BBQ without a bowl of this stuff! But it doesn’t have to be super creamy and unhealthy; Cookie and Kate have the perfect simple seedy slaw recipe to make you mind and body drool. Simply whack some finely sliced cabbage, shredded carrot and parsley into a bowl with some toasted seeds and a dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cumin and salt. Who said coleslaw can’t be good for you?

Dips

Have you tried cashew cheese? Not only is it delicious, it’s also vegan friendly and can be made in a number flavours. A great new dip to show off to your friends a family, as well as a great mineral source. Cashews are rich in magnesium, are useful sources of iron and zinc, and contain good levels of protein. Overall a worthy addition to your diet, and your summer BBQ! Try Nutrition Stripped’s recipe for cashew cheese three ways: with sundried tomato, olive or truffle.

Summer drinks

Another summer party essential is a fruit punch. Chop up some left over fruit and mix it into a jug of white wine, letting it sit for a few hours before you and your party start sipping. This raspberry plum sangria recipe by Martha Stewart is the perfect boozy summer beverage for a day in the sun. Or go alcohol free, switching the white wine for sparkling lemonade; a drink the whole family can enjoy.

Popsicles

And for the grand finale, experiment with ice pop recipes! They’re simple, quick and delicious – you pretty much can’t go wrong! We love the look of the cool watermelon lollies by With Raw Intensions, made with watermelon, coconut, lime and kiwis. Or try Pimms popsicles with chopped strawberry and cucumber chunks, following The Little Epicurean’s recipe here: 

 

We’re feeling seriously hungry now, BBQ anyone?

Health Benefits Of Indoor Plants

health benefits of indoor plants

Indoor plants don’t just make great decoration, they also have many benefits to your health. The majority of people spend most of their time inside either at work or at home. Indoor plants can help to reduce the amount of indoor polluted air, contaminated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that occur in an enclosed environment. VOCs can cause headaches, nausea and sore or itchy eyes, impacting your health, mood and productivity. Plants absorb the pollutants and emit oxygen, refreshing the air we breathe. The NASA Clean Air study (1989) found that plants remove up to 87% of VOCs every 24 hours .

Studies at the Agricultural University of Norway found that the presence of indoor plants decreased the incidence of dry skin, colds and sore throats. Indoor plants have also been found to improve concentration and productivity levels (Nieuwenhuis et al., 2014; Raanaas et al., 2011) and to reduce stress (Dijkstraa et al., 2008).

So which plants should you choose for a healthy, happy environment?

For the bedroom

best plants for your bedroom

Try Orchids and Succulents as they take in CO2 and release oxygen a night time, refreshing the air as you sleep. Jasmine is also recommended for the bedroom as it has been shown to reduce anxiety levels, leading to a greater quality of sleep.

For the kitchen

bamboo plant for the kitchen

The Bamboo Palm is part of the NASA’s list of the best plants that serve as air air-purifiers, particularly good at cleansing the air of benzene which can be released during use of gas, so perfect for the kitchen.

For the bathroom

snake plant for the bathroom

A Peace Lily plant adds an elegant touch to your bathroom and helps to remove any mould from the air, reducing the likelihood of damp forming. Mother-in-law’s tongue (or snake plant) is another great addition to the bathroom, one of the best for filtering formaldehyde, common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. (Image courtesy of Modernica)

For the laundry room

good indoor plants for the laundry

The Gerbera daisy is great for removing trichloroethylene, which may come home with your dry cleaning, and benzene, that comes with inks. But it does need a lot of light- 6 hours a day is recommended.

 For anywhere

benefits of plants in your home

Chinese evergreen is known as one of the easiest houseplants, thriving in low light and humid air, it helps to filter out a variety of pollutants and toxins from the air.
 

How to be a green guest this wedding season

guide to green and eco friendly weddings

As the weather gets warmer we move into wedding season. What's better than getting all dressed up, celebrating the love of friends and family, and drinking a bit of bubbly on a nice summer day? And this year we hope to help you enjoy yourself even more by providing some eco-inspiration on how to be a greener wedding guest. From guilt-free gifts to ethical outfits, we're here to help you stay sustainable this wedding season:

The Card

eco friendly gift cards

There are loads of cute cards made out of eco-friendly or recycled materials to send to the happy couple. We love this 100% recycled rose boxed card by Paper Tree. The handcrafted paper rose is available in 5 colours, along with a sprinkling of paper rose hearts. You can purchase cards here.

The Gift

eco friendly and ethical wedding gift ideas

Try to avoid getting the couple "stuff" they don't really need. Organic food or wine hampers are a great alternative; we think this Belgravia Organic Wedding Gift Hamper from the Fine Food Store looks divine! Or how about a monthly veggie delivery subscription to a local farm? They do say the way to someone's heart is through their stomach! Experiences are another great way to treat the couple and give them something to look forward to after they're back from their honeymoon. Perhaps a day at the spa, wine making, or even a set of yoga classes? How amazing does The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall's eco-friendly hotel and spa, look?! Or if you do want to go for something special the couple can cherish, what about a fair trade bed throw or soy wax candle set?

The Confetti

eco friendly wedding decorations

Throwing confetti over the newly married couple has been a part of British Weddings for more than two centuries, but paper or synthetic confetti can be wasteful and harmful to the environment. Plant alternatives are perfect for the eco-conscious couple or green guest. Shropshire Petals grow natural, biodegradable petal confetti. The brand endorses a strict no-dye policy, so all petals are 100% natural and eco-friendly. They allow you to create your own unique confetti mix that can be bought by the sachet or the bucket, depending on how much you intend to shower the couple!

The Outfit

ethical organic eco friendly wedding dresses

If you're buying something new for the special occasion, try and go for an outfit you can wear for multiple occasions. We think our Marta V Neck Dress is perfect for a summer wedding. The pretty, feminine cotton dress has a fresh emerald colour with a white brushed dotty print. Dress it up with some vegan nude heels like these from Wills London, and an ethical embellished clutch like this one by People Tree. And don't forget to pack some pumps for later in the evening!